Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
Food delivery apps continue to make earning simpler than ever, but if you’re tired of hopping in and out of fast food joints and restaurant chains, Caviar may be the breath of fresh air you need. This classier service will send you to higher-end spots around your city — though if you’re like most drivers, whether or not you’ll get higher pay may be more of a concern. So how much do Caviar drivers make?
Caviar is a food delivery service that focuses on connecting users to premium local restaurants. Long owned by mobile payment company Square, the platform was acquired by DoorDash — the current leader in the food delivery space — in 2019. Despite the acquisition, Caviar remains a separate platform from its parent company, proving the brand’s niche for riders and drivers alike.
Keep reading to learn how much you can earn as a delivery driver for Caviar’s unique app.
- How Much Do Caviar Drivers Make?
- Caviar Pay Structure
- What Makes Caviar Payments Unique
- How Do Caviar Payouts Occur?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Caviar Drivers Make?
Caviar advertises that its delivery drivers can make up to $25 per hour — and surprisingly, this doesn’t seem too far off. According to user-reported data on Glassdoor, the average Caviar Courier makes about $16 per hour on the platform before tips and bonuses are factored in. It’s not uncommon for drivers to report their hourly pay jumping as high as $20-$25 every once in a while.
Even if your earnings remain at the $16 per hour average, this is still impressive for a food delivery company. As of 2020, this exceeds minimum wage in all U.S. states, even in high-wage cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C. This also means that you can expect to earn as much as $5 more per hour than couriers for standard food delivery services, like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and even DoorDash.
Caviar Pay Structure
Understanding how much Caviar drivers make also requires you to know how the company breaks down courier pay.
The food delivery service does not provide a flat base pay with every order like some competitors do. Instead, your earnings for each order will depend on the estimated time and effort needed to complete an order. Your location may also have a slight impact on your personal average earnings.
Beyond this standard pay rate, Caviar Couriers can also qualify for the following types of bonuses, depending on market and local demand:
- Peak pay: When you drive during peak hours (usually around lunch and dinner), you’ll receive extra cash for the orders you complete. Your weekly courier newsletter will give you information about upcoming peak pay offers, so make sure to stay subscribed.
- Milestones: Sometimes, you’ll receive bonus offers called Milestones that allow you to earn extra money usually for completing a set amount of orders during a certain time and in a specific area. These are usually offered to drivers based on location and vehicle type. Some Milestones are actually stackable, which means you can earn multiple bonuses at once.
However, Caviar does not cover any job-related expenses, like gas or car maintenance costs. Just like Lyft and Uber drivers, food delivery drivers in the gig economy are self-employed, independent contractors, which means Caviar is not responsible for reimbursing you for any gas, oil changes, and similar needs you have to pay for to complete your job. You can also expect to pay self-employment taxes on top of your income taxes.
What Makes Caviar Payments Unique
While Caviar drivers are like rideshare drivers in the sense that they’re independent contractors, the food delivery company does more to make payments favorable for drivers. Beyond the relatively high pay that Caviar Couriers receive, you can also expect the following perks:
- Enhanced ability to choose: Drivers can see their guaranteed earnings, pick-up location, and drop-off location before they choose to accept or reject an order. You’ll even get two full minutes to make your choice.
- Possible adjustments: If you experience restaurant delays or reroutes that significantly increase your time spent on a delivery, you can contact Caviar support to have your pay adjusted.
- Parking ticket assistance: Once every 100 deliveries, Caviar may actually help you pay for any parking tickets you receive, as long as your submission fits these criteria.
- More payout options: Once you’ve completed your delivery and want to get paid, you’ll get multiple choices for how you receive and use your funds. We’ll describe these options in the next section.
How Do Caviar Payouts Occur?
Caviar Couriers can receive their payments in one of two ways: through direct deposit or through the Cash App.
Drivers who choose to receive traditional direct deposits in their bank accounts can expect to receive their payouts once per week. Caviar always sends out payments on Monday mornings, though it may take up to three days for the funds to actually show up in your account. In most cases, delays will only occur if a bank holiday falls on a Monday, though you should still receive your funds within the week.
If you have an account on Cash App — Square’s financial app that allows you to store, send, and receive money for free — you can actually get usable funds faster. By linking your Cash App account instead of your bank account, you’ll get paid immediately when your drop-off is complete, including your peak pay. Tips and other bonuses will be sent within two hours. From here, you can use the funds in one of two ways:
- Deposit into your bank account: If your end goal is still to put money in your bank account, Cash App can help you speed up the process. Using the smartphone app, your funds will be in your account within two business days, and you can request a same-day transfer for a 1.5% fee.
- Use your Cash Card: In your Cash App account, you can request a Cash Card, which is a physical debit card that’s connected to your app balance. The Cash Card allows you to immediately use any funds in your account at any retailer that accepts Visa. You can even use the card to withdraw real cash at ATMs for a $2 fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve broken down how much Caviar drivers make, we’ll provide answers to a few additional questions that may still be on your mind. With these answers, you’ll be better equipped to decide whether or not you want Caviar delivery to become your official gig.
1. Will delivering for Caviar on bike or on foot, instead of with a motorized vehicle, affect my pay?
While bikers and walkers on the Caviar platform still benefit from the same payment structure as Caviar delivery drivers, you may experience slightly lower pay averages simply because you won’t be able to take on the highest-paying orders. Delivering on bike or foot means you’ll be limited to a smaller delivery area and smaller orders, so don’t be surprised if your earnings don’t frequently reach $20 per hour.
Still, by taking advantage of peak hours and customer tips, you can make a great income without dealing with the cost of driving and maintaining a car, motorcycle, or motorized scooters.
2. Can I drive for Caviar full-time?
While there’s no rule against driving for Caviar for 40 hours a week, you may find that the platform is best suited for drivers seeking a side gig. This is because the volume of requests on the platform isn’t quite as high as requests on competitor apps. After all, when compared to all the other widespread food delivery companies in the United States, Caviar has the smallest market share at just 2%.
If you want to drive on a flexible schedule full-time, you’ll be better off pairing Caviar with other gigs in the rideshare or food delivery industries.
3. Can I review my past Caviar payouts?
Absolutely. If you want to review how much you’ve made to make sure you’re on track for your financial goals, you simply need to log in to your Caviar account and head to the “Payout History” section under “Payment Information.” If your account has been deactivated and you still want to view your payouts, you can log in through this link instead.
Earn More With Caviar
The Caviar app connects customers to local restaurant options, the Caviar Courier app is connecting drivers to food delivery opportunities that offer higher earnings. Caviar Couriers may also experience a better payout process just by choosing to link their Cash App account instead of a standard bank account.
Even though Caviar is known for higher-end experiences, it’s still easy for delivery drivers, bikers, and walkers to qualify for and earn on the platform. Learn how to become a Caviar Courier in our complete guide.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.